1940: Transport from Schneidemühl

Deportations from Schneidemühl

Departure Dates: 22.02.-19.08.40

Schneidemühl Synagoge (Year unknown)- photo from Wikimedia
Schneidemühl Synagoge (Year unknown)- photo from Wikimedia

In the months that followed, not only did Jews continue to be removed from Schneidemühl, but they were also redistributed between the places of detention or lodging with relatives, for which proposals were submitted to the RSHA monthly by the Reichsvereinigung. The last 29 Jews remaining in Schneidemühl were to be deported by train to Berlin on 19 August 1940 at 11 am. In a letter dated 26.9.40 written by the community chairman Siegfried Sommerfeld of the district office Brandenburg-Schneidemühl states, “that the Jewish community in Schneidemühl still consists of 6 adult persons and 3 children.” [BA R 8150/483].

In an addendum to the “final report” of the Reichsvereinigung, the whereabouts of the 544 people brought to Schneidemühl under order from the state on 23.1.41 are reported. According to this, of the Jews captured in February 1940, 155 were either housed in the Neuendorf or in the newly opened Jewish Workplace Radinkendorf on April 1, 1940, or were in the Forsteinsatz. 136 people were in retirement and nursing homes in Berlin, 17 in the Bielefeld Jewish Home for the elderly, 24 in children’s homes in Berlin, and 28 in private homes. 37 Jewish people were housed in the Berlin refugee camp, 5 in the Jewish hospital and 1 in the Wittenau hospital. Relatives housed 91 people and 10 managed to emigrate. 24 people had died since February 1940. Furthermore, 4 doctors and caretakers returning to Berlin were registered. In Schneidemühl there were still 5 Jews, including the couple Betty and Siegfried Sommerfeld as well as 3 persons living in mixed marriages, further there remained 7 non-Jewish children of mixed marriages. In addition to the 544 Jews who had been gathered in the collection camp in February 1940, there was one other Jewish woman in a mixed marriage in Schneidemühl, whose 3 Jewish-educated children were in care in Berlin [BA R 8150/483].

As required by the protocol of 21.3. the RV approached the RSHA with proposals for an extension of the previously prepared distribution plan within the Altreich, this distribution plan included people held in the Glowno camp near Poznan. They were finally brought to Neuendorf, Radinkendorf, to retirement as well as nursing homes in Berlin and Bielefeld at the beginning of April per the above-cited RV report of 9.4.40. 3 people had died in camp Glowno before their deportation including, Sally Tobias on 20.3., Anna Reinstein on 23.3. and Paula Moses on March 26, 1940 [M. Rutowska, camp Glowna. Niemiecki obóz przesiedleńczy na Głównej w Poznaniu dla ludności polskiej (1939-1940), Poznań 2008, p. 59, 69-70]. They were buried in the Jewish cemetery in Schwaningen near Poznan, as mentioned by the local city commissioner wrote in a letter to the mayor of Poznań: “Schwaningen is Jewish-free (Juden-Frei).” There is no longer a Jewish community in Schwaningen. I will accept the remaining bodies for burial. In the future I keep the Jewish cemetery closed; corpses will no longer be accepted for burial. ” [ZIH 233/36]

Below are lists of the three “Jews transport groups”, with which 161 Schneidemühl Jews from the camp Glowno were removed on 2.4. and 6.4.40. The documents can be found in Instytut Zachodni, Inventory Dok.I-699 (see M. Rutowska, Wysiedlenia ludności polskiej z Kraju Warty do Generalnego Gubernatorstwa 1939-1941, Poznań 2003, M. Rutowska, Camp Glowna, Niemiecki obóz przesiedleńczy na Głównej w Poznaniu dla ludności polskiej (1939-1940), Poznań 2008).

Thereafter only about 600 Jews remained in Pomerania; they were predominantly located in the district of Köslin. The circumstances which ultimately led to the fact that Schneidemühler Jews were not transported away, as their Stettin fellow sufferers in the General Government area were, can only be imagined. In the minutes of the RSHA meeting of 30.1.40 on planned deportations from the General Government area, the removals from the district of Schneidemühl, in contrast to that from the administrative district of Stettin, was not mentioned, despite the concurrency of both actions. It can be assumed that the differences between Himmler and the GovernorGeneral Frank, in relation to the “wild” expulsions associated with the reactions from abroad following the Stettin action and after the removal of Jews from Schneidemühl to the transit camp Glowno near Poznan, is due to a decree from Göring, specifying on 24/340 that further deportations from the GeneralGovernment area were prohibited without his and Frank’s permission.

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